Displaying items 31 - 45 of 64 in total
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    Sex Workers' Struggles In Bangladesh: Learning For The Women's Movement, IDS Bulletin, 37.5

    In 1999, the government of Bangladesh forcefully evicted sex workers from a large cluster of brothels just outside Dhaka. Members of the sex worker organisation, Ulka, immediately sought support from Naripokkho, a country-wide women’s NGO. The Naripokkho office was transformed into an impromptu shelter with over 40 women sleeping there, and a few more staying with staff in their homes. This led to a new set of relationships and alliances between the sex workers and staff. …

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    Social Consensus, Democratic Conflict The Debate On The Decriminalisation Of Abortion In Uruguay, IDS Bulletin, 39.3

    Since the restoration of democracy to Uruguay in 1985, every year has seen initiatives to decriminalize abortions. Strong support and public awareness focussing on women’s rights and personal freedom by advocacy groups has bolstered public opinion in support of woman’s choice from 25 per cent to 65 per cent, between 1985 and 2007. Despite this wave of grassroots support, powerful politicians remain wedded to more conservative values, managing to defeat every decriminalization bill presented to date. But the increasing environment of democratization and support for rights and choice, buttressed by a wide range of civil society actors, including advocacy groups, CBOs, academics and politicians, may provide sufficient pressure that the government accepts the newest bill on the Defence on the Right to Sexual and Reproductive Health. …

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    State And CSO Partnerships In Poverty Alleviation, Chapter 6 In 2008 Egypt Human Development Report

    This chapter describes the landscape of welfare provision in one small Cairo suburb and the roles and relationships that determine this landscape. The chapter focuses specifically on the Ministry of Social Solidarity as the state apparatus mandated with welfare, poverty reduction and social protection; it investigates the range of programs that are offered by the Ministry and by CSOs active in these areas. The purpose of presenting this empirical case study is to understand the dynamics of the relationship between the state and civil society so as to suggest mechanisms for coordination, mutual accountability and more effective welfare provision to better address poverty alleviation and social protection. The case study considers the ideals and norms of each player — the state and civil society — their perceived mission statements and the objectives of their programmes so as to understand the dynamics of their power interplay. …

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    Taking The Lead? A Study Of Discourses And Practices On Women's Empowerment By Ghana's Ministry Of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC)

    This paper presented to 'Pathways: What are we Learning?' Conference held in Cairo from 20-24 January 2009 is derived from the authors’ larger project on policy discourses and practices on women's empowerment in Ghana by leading institutions and actors in the state, civil society and the donor community. The overall aim of the study is to understand and ultimately influence the conceptions of women's empowerment in Ghana, and the strategies and actions flowing from these. In this paper, the authors focus on the Ministry of Children and Women's Affairs (MOWAC), the designated central government agency for 'mainstreaming gender' into national development plans. Operationally, MOWAC sees itself as the coordinator and guide for other ministries and government agencies on gender issues and concerns. …

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    The Limits Of Women's Quotas In Brazil

    In this article, I examine the case of Brazil which, unlike many other Latin American countries, is an example of where quotas are not working. Drawing on over ten years of research and exploring the dynamics of a varied group of political parties, I contest that male resistance is not the only reason behind this failure. Vagueness around the quota law and a lack of sanctions, together with the elitist nature of politics in Brazil are all contributing factors. My research has also revealed a few anomalies, showing that contrary to much of the literature, women would seem to fare better in elections within less developed and smaller states in Brazil. …

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    The Sudanese Women's Movement And The Mobilisation For The 2008 Legislative Quota And Its Aftermath

    This article explores the pathways of political action pursued by the Sudanese women's movement leading up to the introduction of a women's quota in 2008 and its implementation in the most recent 2010 national parliamentary elections, the country's first in 24 years. The article argues that the main achievement of the quota was the extent to which it mobilized women to engage in politics, rather than the increased representation of women in parliament. The form the quota took however, has not significantly challenged political parties to put forth women candidates in core geographic constituencies, restricting them instead to separate women's lists. The need for revisiting the quota, healing divisions within the women's movement and negotiating a robust common programme in the next phase are all critical for translating numbers into positive changes in Sudanese women's lives. …

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    The Will To Political Power: Rwandan Women In Leadership

    Rwanda has one of the highest representations of women in parliament in the world. This article examines, from the perspective of a female MP in parliament, the dynamics behind the process of supporting more women assuming leadership positions in parliament. The article argues that the implementation of an electoral gender quota certainly carves the space necessary to allow more women to enter politics, nevertheless, a constellation of factors is needed to work together in order to create the enabling environment necessary for the quota to be effective. Some of these factors include (but are not restricted to) challenging the hierarchical gender relations in post-genocide Rwanda; the political will on the part of the government to engender politics; the role of national machineries in monitoring and pressing for gender-sensitive national policies, as well as the strategic mobilisation of female parliamentarians backed by the progressive new Rwandan constitution. …

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    Towards A Politics Of Collective Empowerment: Learning From Hill Women In Rural Uttarakhand, India

    This article argues that to understand the conditions that enable effective participation by women in politics, analysis is needed not just of the characteristics and performance of elected women leaders but also the extent to which village communities are engaged through collective processes, in demanding accountability from those elected. The article presents the experiences of a women's movement in the Uttarakhand that has evolved from a programme of environmental education in the region. Over the years, this movement has developed a strong political consciousness. Women's participation in Whole Village Groups has paved the way for active engagement with local governance institutions. …

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    Wearing Platform Shoes: How the Platform for Action Changed our Lives, and how Women's Lives have Changed since the Platform for Action

    In this article Suzette reflects on her personal experience from being at the Beijing conference, and the study and work she has done since this time on the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action through the United Nations, NGOs and her active role in the global women’s movement. She looks at strategic ways the document could have been used in a policy context to lead global and national dialogue and draws from her PhD titled ‘Beijing - Transformation and feminist politics: From the personal to the international. She links the process of the Beijing Conference and Platform for Action back to the accountability within the UN itself, identifying opportunities lost through lack of clear commitment, planning and resourcing. She concludes by highlighting the importance of this event and document on the lives of women who were a part of the process and the value of a future NGO Forum for women for the global women’s movement. …

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    Whose Vision, Whose Needs? Appropriation In Nigeria’s National Economic Empowerment And Development Strategy (NEEDS)

    This paper presented at a conference on ‘Reclaiming Feminism: Gender and Neo-liberalism organised by IDS and Birkbeck College from 9-10 July 2007, examines the reform programme of the Obasanjo government (1999-2007), as laid out in the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS). Initiated halfway through the first term of Obasanjo’s tenure, this was the first explicitly articulated ‘economic and development agenda’ during his administration, as opposed to the characteristic one-off programmes previously developed on an ad hoc basis. Initial expectations of the government’s goals and intentions were high, given the long-awaited end of military rule and Obasanjo’s status as the first elected civilian head of state for decades since the Second Republic of Shehu Shagari. In this paper, the author reflects on processes that are involved in instrumentalist and opportunistic uses of ‘gender’ and ‘empowerment’ by the state, specifically the Olesugun Obasanjo two-term administration of Nigeria (1999 to 2007) and its NEEDS programme. …

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    Women And Politics In Post-War Sierra Leone (2002-2011) (Policy Brief)

    As part of its post-war reconstruction and peace consolidation efforts, the Government of Sierra Leone has noted in all its policy documents that gender equality is a cross-cutting issue and will be included in all government policies, programmes and projects across all sectors of society. The objective of this research was to assess the government’s gender equality and mainstreaming framework in the arena of politics and public sector governance. The author found that despite the government’s policy initiatives, women’s political empowerment within the structures of government were unsatisfactory. However, Women have continued to actively engage the state and political parties to increase their numbers in government. …

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    Women And Politics In Post-War Sierra Leone (2002-2011) (Report)

    The objective of this study was to assess the implementation of the government’s gender equality and mainstreaming framework in the arena of politics and public sector governance. The paper discusses: election results and post-war changes in female participation and political representation; Affirmative Action policies; the effect of the women’s movement on women’s political representation; the electioneering process. The paper concludes that opportunities created by the post-war moment have opened up the male-dominated political arena to female politicians, in spite of threats of violence including rape and intimidation, and women have moved ahead to claim their space however small, through articulated demands for inclusion in governance. This increase is shown to be more of their own making as individuals and as a coalition than of a political will from a male-dominated system of governance. …

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    Women In Local Governance In Post-Conflict Sierra Leone

    This paper is a critical examination of the implementation of the government’s gender equality framework to its decentralization programme. It is argued that the practice of local governance in post-war Sierra Leone which, is far below the Beijing minimum of 30 per cent, rather than leave women disillusioned, has spurred them on to actively engage the state, political parties and the National Electoral Commission to demand a legislative quota to enhance women’s participation and a conducive political atmosphere to level the playing field for women in local governance. …

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    Women In Local Government in Pakistan

    This study investigates the ‘criss-cross’ processes through which women in Pakistan become empowered, focusing on how the larger institutional set-up (whether military or non-military) helps women achieve their goals. It explores how some of the major initiatives from civil society have contributed to women’s voices at the local government level, and also looks at individual case studies of women when they either surmount or fail to surmount societal pressures in their individual lives. The research involves qualitative interviews at all three tiers of government, and mapping out NGO initiatives, tracing how women's voices have arisen and how demands have affected policy. …

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    Women In Local Government: The Pakistan Experience (Article)

    This article looks at women's representation in local government in Pakistan, focusing particularly on the introduction of a quota setting 33 per cent of the seats for women brought in under General Musharraf's Devolution of Power Plan in 2000. The article suggests that establishing a direct correlation between a woman's quota and regime type is problematic. It demonstrates a complex pattern of interaction on the issue by both the military and civilian regimes in Pakistan. Policies which have been brought in, informed both by political pragmatism and ideological continuity, have been wide ranging and almost contradictory in nature. …